2013 Sundance Film Festival: A crowd pleaser

Francisco Lizares

With over 200 films competing, the results for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival are in.

The United States Grand Jury Award for a dramatic movie went to Fruitvale, which focuses on the life of Oscar Grant and his tragic encounter with police officers in Oakland.

Grant gained national attention after a video of him getting unjustifiably shot in the back by a police officer spread across the internet.

Ryan Coolger, director of Fruitvale, is a Sundance rookie who studied film at the University of Southern California.

Coolger wanted audiences to experience the personal side to the Oscar Grant story by following Grant on his last day alive.

Fruitvale was also a crowd-pleaser, winning the the U.S. Audience award at the festival.

Julian Baltazar, liberal arts major says that an award at the festival gives independent film makers and their movies, “a great reputation in the industry from the indie to the main stream media.”

Blood Brother was a documentary that also won both the U.S. Grand Jury and Audience awards. In his first feature film, Steve Hoover chronicled the life of his best friend and his efforts to help HIV positive orphans in India.

While the Sundance Film Festival may not have the mainstream hype of the Golden Globes, its awards still hold a good amount of prestige for film enthusiasts.

Ricardo Ramirez, film production major says that an independent film maker, “can be recognized for their potential at the festival.”

The Sundance Film Festival takes place in Utah every year and some students like Ramirez would like to see that changed.

He says that, “it should be a traveling festival to bring the hype to other cities,” he adds, “it would bring more exposure to the industry.”